Causa With Shrimp and Avocado Recipe (2024)

By Madhur Jaffrey

Causa With Shrimp and Avocado Recipe (1)

Total Time
30 minutes, plus 1 hour for baking potatoes
Rating
4(124)
Notes
Read community notes

A causa is layered potato terrine that is popular in Peru. For this recipe, avocado and shrimp salads are stacked on a base of spicy mashed potatoes. Each layer is simple to make and, together, they add up to an impressive appetizer. You'll need a ring mold about 3¼ inches in diameter and about 2 inches in height to shape the causa. Many Peruvians improvise with clean cans of similar dimensions, removing both ends first. Use a soup or bean can, which tend to be a little less than 3 inches in diameter.

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Ingredients

Yield:4 servings

    For the Potatoes

    • pounds Idaho potatoes (2 to 3 large potatoes)
    • ½teaspoon salt, or to taste
    • 2tablespoons aji amarillo paste (see Tip)
    • 4teaspoons lime juice
    • 1tablespoon olive oil
    • 1teaspoon seeded and very finely diced fresh hot red chile
    • 1tablespoon very finely chopped cilantro leaves

    For the Shrimp Salad

    • 24medium shrimp (about ¾ pound), peeled and deveined
    • 1clove garlic, minced and mashed
    • ¼teaspoon salt
    • teaspoon ground cumin
    • A pinch of cayenne
    • 1tablespoon olive oil
    • 3tablespoons finely diced inner celery stalks
    • 1teaspoon lime juice
    • 2tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

    For the Avocado Salad

    • 1avocado, ripe but not mushy
    • 2teaspoons lime juice
    • ¼teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • 2tablespoons mayonnaise

    For Final Assembly

    • A small pat of unsalted butter for greasing ring molds or cans
    • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

517 calories; 27 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 13 grams monounsaturated fat; 9 grams polyunsaturated fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 23 grams protein; 945 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Causa With Shrimp and Avocado Recipe (2)

Preparation

  1. Step

    1

    Make the potatoes: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and prick the potatoes with a fork. Bake directly on the oven rack for 1 hour.

  2. Step

    2

    Peel potatoes while still warm (hold with a fork, if necessary) and put the potatoes through a ricer 3 times.

  3. Step

    3

    Put the mashed potatoes on a board and treat them like dough. Add the salt and knead it in. Add the amarillo paste and knead it in. Do the same with the lime juice and then the oil, incorporating them in slowly. Add the red chili and cilantro to give flecks of red and green. Knead some more and roll into a smooth cylinder, about 5 inches long and about 3 inches or less in diameter, depending on your mold. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. This can be done several hours or even a day ahead of time.

  4. Step

    4

    Make the shrimp salad: Pat the shrimp dry. Cut each shrimp in half, crosswise, and put in a bowl. Add the garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne. Mix well.

  5. Step

    5

    Put oil in a medium frying pan and set on medium-high heat. When hot, add the shrimp. Stir and fry until they just turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove them to a clean bowl. Add the celery, lime juice, mayonnaise and cilantro. Mix well, taste for balance of flavors, and set aside.

  6. Step

    6

    Make the avocado salad: Peel the avocado, remove the pit and cut it into ½-inch dice. Put in a bowl. Add the lime juice and mix well. Add the salt, pepper and mayonnaise. Mix well and set aside.

  7. Step

    7

    Assemble the dish: Grease 4 ring molds or clean soup cans with butter. Cut the cylinder of refrigerated mashed potatoes, crosswise, into 4 parts (about 1¼-inch thick each) and make them about the same diameter as your mold. Make sure the edges are clean with no cracks. Drop a patty down each mold and tamp it down gently with the bottom of a glass.

  8. Step

    8

    Divide the avocado salad into 4 parts and drop a part down on the top of the mashed potato in each mold, spreading it out evenly. Press down lightly with the glass again. Divide the shrimp salad into 4 parts and drop one part each neatly over the avocados, again, spreading it out evenly. Press down lightly. Lift off the mold or can, garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve.

Tip

  • Aji amarillo paste is yellow, spicy and aromatic. It is sold at Peruvian markets and Kalustyan's.

Ratings

4

out of 5

124

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Private Notes

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Cooking Notes

Eduardo

In Peru we don’t bake the potatoes, we boil them. I think the mash is nicer with boiled ones, especially if done with papa amarilla (Yukon gold are vaguely similar to them)

John Warren

The way many Peruvians make this is to line a glass bowl or other mold with plastic wrap and assemble it upside down, ie avocado first, then shrimp or crab, then potatoes, pressing down lightly on the potatoes. Wrap top (actually the bottom) with plastic wrap and chill a bit. Remove the top (bottom) plastic wrap, put a plate over, and invert the causa onto the plate, then remove the bottom (top) layer of plastic wrap. Makes a beautiful presentation.

Barbara Lynch

I cannot imagine making a cause with Idaho potatoes. Causa was a dish that originated in Lima, and the potatoes readily available in local markets were papas amarillas, similar in many respects to Yukon gold, which would be my potato preference. The color would be nicer as well. Nice olives from Tacna or northern Chile are an appropriate garnish.

Gerry

October 2017 attended a delightfully informal cooking school in Lima. www.peruviancookingclasses.com . We spent the morning shopping at local food market stalls and the rest of the day cooking. Causa with Crab and Avocado one of the dishes on the menu. So much fun to make and visually stunning. Going to give it a try again at home for next family lunch. Thank you for the reminder.

Diana

My host in Peru made a causa like this, but he layered it all in a pie plate. One step simpler - and delicious!!

Archdruid

And serve with Salsa Golf.

Archdruid

Spring form pan. Generously grease the sides, then your layers. Maybe not quite as pretty as the individual rounds, but definitely easier.

BlinkyBadEnough

Delicious. I was shocked to be able to find the chili paste which really is the key to this dish. Boiled small Yukon Gold potatoes. Did not peel. A little putzy to make but can be made ahead. Also, as suggested by other comments, layered this upside down in a plastic lined pie plate. Much easier than the molds and my guests were none the wiser.

AmiK

No mayo in the avocado please! Never understood why that is a thing -- it ruins the fresh taste of avocado which just needs lime and sea salt.

Gina

This was so delicious. I’ve wanted to make causa since I first ate it in Lima. I used Yukon gold potatoes and boiled them... and subbed 1 tbsp of habanero hot sauce for the aji Amarillo as I could not locate the real thing in Vermont. I also subbed chopped chicken because I was in the mood for chicken! Will make this again and again, I loved every bite.

Valerie Kenyon gaffney

Served this as the first course of an end of summer supper. The only change I made was to boil (Yukon Gold) potatoes, skin on, then peeled them when cool. Used a red Fresno pepper found at my local Wegmans. The recipe was a bit of work, but oh my god, SO worth it! Served with The Barefoot Contess’s Gazpacho, and Julia Moskin’s Soft Herb Salad, also from the NYT Cooking site. Five star supper!

M Crisham

We have make a variation on this about 6 times after having it throughout Perú. We make it with grilled or roasted chicken ( bc that’s the way we first had it).We make it with the aji paste if we have it- otherwise we try to make a roasted red pepper sauce that’s is great but not AS good. And we subbed the celery for cucumber and it’s even better. It’s a favorite! ( and we never chill it we just have it all at rio temp.)

Jane

Had this in Lima made in an individual “fish” mold. Sliced black olive eye, red bell pepper strips defining scales, chunks of queso fresco and black and green olives surrounding the “fish.” Tuna salad was on the bottom, covered in a layer of mashed avocado, covered in lemony yellow (always!) potatoes. No “heat.” Oh, my! This was heaven.

Linda Levitt

This is a show stopper. Everyone was wowed and loved the flavors. I did use Yukon golds and boiled them. The citrus flavor made them so different from usual mashed potatoes. I’m making it again today,

Gerry

Made these as an appetizer to take to a dinner party. Showing off, I know. Used Yukon Gold potatoes. Boiled and twice through the mouli. Potatoes lacked the 'masa' like consistency of when I made them in Peru - more of a very thick potato cream. Held my breath removing molds. Must say they looked just like the photo. . Second batch filled with a mixture of fig and duck confit with caramelized onions. Topped with shredded cabbage and thinly sliced radish. 2.5" round molds

Cheryl

This was quite a hit. I did need extra avocado. You can make ahead of time by a few hours because the lime juice will keep the avocados green. The spiciness of the potatoes is balanced by the avocados and shrimp. I did add extra garlic to the shrimp and extra cumin because it would have been bland.

John Warren

The way many Peruvians make this is to line a glass bowl or other mold with plastic wrap and assemble it upside down, ie avocado first, then shrimp or crab, then potatoes, pressing down lightly on the potatoes. Wrap top (actually the bottom) with plastic wrap and chill a bit. Remove the top (bottom) plastic wrap, put a plate over, and invert the causa onto the plate, then remove the bottom (top) layer of plastic wrap. Makes a beautiful presentation.

Eduardo

In Peru we don’t bake the potatoes, we boil them. I think the mash is nicer with boiled ones, especially if done with papa amarilla (Yukon gold are vaguely similar to them)

Barbara Lynch

I cannot imagine making a cause with Idaho potatoes. Causa was a dish that originated in Lima, and the potatoes readily available in local markets were papas amarillas, similar in many respects to Yukon gold, which would be my potato preference. The color would be nicer as well. Nice olives from Tacna or northern Chile are an appropriate garnish.

Diana

My host in Peru made a causa like this, but he layered it all in a pie plate. One step simpler - and delicious!!

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Causa With Shrimp and Avocado Recipe (2024)
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